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Course content

Weed science is a very dynamic field of research integrating cultural, mechanical, chemical, and biological management techniques to obtain economically and environmentally sustainable weed management systems.

Research interests and expertise of the weed science faculty include: molecular and biochemical mechanisms of herbicide selectivity, evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds, weed ecology and biology, soil-herbicide interactions, evaluation of new herbicides, and weed-crop competition.

Emphasis is on solving weed management problems in Illinois field crops through basic and applied research.

Opportunities for Study
Study in weed science leads to M.S. degrees. Students take courses in weed science that discuss herbicide selectivity/mode of action and weed ecology/biology, as well as courses in crop sciences, plant physiology, biochemistry, plant anatomy, statistics, and contemporary laboratory techniques. In consultation with thesis advisors, students select their thesis research topics.

There is a strong emphasis on team approaches; consequently, numerous opportunities exist to develop integrated research topics that combine field and laboratory studies. Cooperative programs often lead to opportunity for association with students and faculty in soils, plant physiology, biotechnology, plant breeding, plant pathology, and entomology.

Career Opportunities
Employment prospects for M.S. recipients are excellent. University opportunities include faculty or staff positions in research, teaching, or extension. Government opportunities include the USDA-ARS, Environmental Protection Agency, and various state agricultural departments. Industry opportunities include herbicide discovery and development research positions, crop consulting, and marketing of agricultural pesticides.

The weed science laboratories in Turner Hall are well-equipped with such items as refrigerated centrifuges, spectrophotometer, scintillation counters, amino acid analyzer, biological oxidizer, and liquid and gas chromatograph. Greenhouse and growth chambers are available, including those equipped with laboratory sprayers. Space for field research is available at:

-Crop Sciences Research and Education Center
-Brownstown Agronomy Research Center
-Northwestern Illinois Agronomy Research Center
-Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center

Department of Crop Sciences
Creative experiences are boundless when you opt for advanced education in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. We offer advanced degree programs tailored to your specific interests that will prepare you for enriching and stimulating careers with a spectrum of public and private organizations in a global agricultural industry.

Our graduate degree recipients hold positions of leadership throughout the world. Our degree programs provide state-of-the-science education to match nearly every interest and career aspiration in crop sciences.

Department faculty is positioned at the leading edge of a growing knowledge base in crop sciences. We are committed to providing you with a nurturing environment for personal and professional growth.

International applicants whose native language is not English must score a minimum of 570 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who are not U.S. citizens also must submit evidence that they have sufficient financial support for their entire program of study.

Prospective students are urged to apply by February 15 for the following summer or fall, or by November 1 for the following spring. However, applications are accepted at any time; they are considered and acted upon by the departmental graduate applications committee monthly.

Financial Aid
To apply for fellowships, assistantships, and tuition and fee waivers, prospective students should indicate their desire to be considered for financial aid on the admission application form. Credentials submitted with the form are used in determining financial aid.

Students already enrolled in the graduate program without financial aid from the University of Illinois may apply for financial assistance. Demonstration of exceptional ability in their studies and/or research activities is an important criterion in selecting students for available fellowships and assistantships.

Fellowships are awarded to graduate students in the Department of Crop Sciences in recognition of superior achievement and potential. Funding comes from a number of sources, each with specific criteria and opportunities.

The Department of Crop Sciences offers part-time positions to study with departmental faculty on research, teaching, or extension activities. Research assistantships are offered based on availability of funds and space in an appropriate faculty member's laboratory. Teaching assistantships require meeting University standards of English language skills, excellent teaching potential, and competence in the area being taught.

These assistantships include an annual stipend and can be awarded at different levels of time commitment. In addition to the stipend, assistantships of at least one-quarter time carry a waiver of all tuition and most fees. These waivers are worth several thousand dollars over and above the stipend. The department will be pleased to provide current values for assistantships and waivers.





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Recipient: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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